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[205] the deep sympathy of friendship and a common admiration! You will hear of me often.

Good-by for a few days.

As ever yours,

To Dr. Francis Lieber.

Boston, Nov. 19, 1837.
my dear Lieber,—‘Yet in Boston!’ you will exclaim. Ay; perverse fates and various cares have conspired to keep me in my durance for some days longer than I anticipated. In two days more, and my course is ended here. I have taken leave of all my friends, even of my dearest judge, and of those fair acquaintances1 whom I beheld under your auspices,—auspice Teucro. I have consummated all my professional business, and now only linger to arrange a few personal affairs, to equip myself for travel, and to scrawl a few letters and some writing to which I am bound before leaving. I am heart-sick of appointing the day on which I shall leave; for I have found that, in my eagerness to get away, I have constantly underrated the labor I was to perform. Monday after Monday has been fixed upon; and when the day has come, business, with its hydra-head, presented some unexpected impediment. But now the day is within my grasp,—a few hours, that may be counted soon, with their swift-running sands, are all that is left.

I yesterday talked with Fletcher2 about your ‘Political Ethics.’ We debated the question, whether a citizen should be obliged, under a penalty, to vote, as he is to serve on the jury. If voting be a duty and not a privilege, should not the duty be enforced by law? At our recent election two of our wealthiest citizens, whose position in society is mainly accorded on account of their wealth, declined voting. Their immense property was protected by the law, and yet they would not interfere or assist in the choice of the law-makers. I wish you would ponder this question for your book. I promised Mr. Fletcher that he should some day read a solution of it from your pen.

I lately fell in with John Neal, of Portland, and told him of your work. I described it so as to enlist his interest and that of my friend and host, Mr. Daveis, of Portland.

I shall hear of your success across the ocean, and perhaps may be able to send an echo back. But let me repeat, do not be over-hasty. Take time. You have a good plan and good materials, and do not mar both by too great anxiety to rush before the public.

As ever, faithfully,

1 Richard Fletcher, ante, p. 162.

2 The Misses Appleton, afterwards Mrs. Longfellow and Mrs. Mackintosh.

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Political Ethics (1)
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